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Childhood Adrenal Gland Disorders: Overactive Adrenal Glands


When adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of hormones, they are termed overactive . Symptoms and treatment depend on which hormones are being overproduced. These include:

  • Androgenic steroids (male sexual hormones). An overproduction of androgenic steroids (such as testosterone) can lead to exaggerated male characteristics in both men and women, such as hairiness of the face and body, baldness, acne, deeper voice, and more muscularity.
  • Corticosteroids (e.g. cortisol and aldosterone). An overproduction of corticosteroids can lead to Cushing's syndrome .
  • Aldosterone. An overproduction of the aldosterone hormone can lead to high blood pressure and to symptoms associated with low levels of potassium (i.e., weakness, muscle aches, spasms, and sometimes paralysis).

Diagnosis and Treatment

In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for overactive adrenal glands may include specific blood tests to measure levels of hormones as well as urine tests to measure levels of hormones.
Treatment of overactive adrenal glands depends on the cause of the disease. Treatment may include surgical removal of growths or the adrenal gland(s) itself. Certain drugs that block the excessive production of certain hormones may also be administered.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. University of Maryland Medical System Online Health Guides:

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Adrenal Glands
Overactive Adrenal Glands
Androgenic steroids
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Adrenal Gland Hyperfunction
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
Colorado State University

Colorado State University

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Contact Last modified: Jun 25 2002